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British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Trooper’s Sword

£475.00
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British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 26
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 31
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 45
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 59
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 6
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 7
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 8
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 9
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 10
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 11
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 12
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 13
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 14
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 15
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 16
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 177
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 189
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 195
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 204
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 21
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 22
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 23
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 24
British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry Troopers Sword - 25
Description

Curved, single-fullered blade with spear point, three-bar steel hilt with quillon and thumb guard. Smooth steel backstrap with raised thumbrest, integral smooth oval pommel and riveted ‘ears’ over a wood grip, covered with black leather. Plain steel scabbard with two hanging rings. No leather washer.

The ricasso of the blade is marked on one side with a mark of ‘N’ over ‘3’, probably an inspection mark. There is no maker’s mark – other examples of these swords have shown German marks suggesting they were contracted out to makers in Solingen, which was not uncommon for British swords of the period. The hilt is roughly inscribed with ‘13’ over ‘D.16.R.A’, a unit and/or rack number. The scabbard is inscribed with a matching unit mark on one side near the throat, indicating that the two are certainly an original pair, as well as the number ‘1866’, perhaps an issue date.

This inscription is in an unusual style but I have seen other examples similarly marked, including ‘17’ over ‘D.16.R.A’, which probably means that the initial number is a rack number and the following row is a unit designation, although which unit this is I am unsure of.

The ‘R.A.’ may indicate a unit of the Royal Artillery. Mounted ranks of the Royal Artillery carried a cavalry trooper’s sword – these should not be confused with the ranks of the Royal Horse Artillery, who appear to have always marked their swords with ‘RHA’. If the ‘1866’ mark is a date then it would seem quite late for the Royal Artillery to still be using the 1821 Pattern, as they did adopt the 1853 Pattern, although exactly when is not clear (see Swords of the British Army, Revised Edition, by Robson, p231).

However, retention of technically obsolete patterns of sword was not unusual, especially in units that were not regular cavalry. The officer’s version of the 1821 was so favoured by the officers of the Artillery that they never gave it up at all, and still carry it today. In any case these are well-made renditions of the 1821 Pattern, which is one of the scarcer British trooper’s models.

The blade is bright with some polishing marks. Its edge is unsharpened, there are a few micks towards the tip. The black leather of the grip has been mostly lost, exposing the wood of the grip with only small sections of covering in recesses and around the ears. The wood grip itself has some chipping at the pommel end and next to the ear on one side, and small cracks on one side at both the ferrule and pommel ends. Despite this the grip is completely firm in the hand with no movement, the blade remains well peened and rings when tapped. The hilt, backstrap and pommel have some light cleaned pitting. The scabbard is clean with numerous small dents to the lower section, one larger and more noticeable dent on one side. None interfere with sheathing and drawing. The screws of the scabbard’s throat piece are missing, although the piece is firmly fixed in place nonetheless.

 

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